Tag Archives: Slam Dunk

Slam Dunk

Well, everyone’s been waiting. I say everyone, it’s not exactly a major festival, but ho-hum. It’s out. As you can probably tell, I’m not exactly thrilled by the first announcements of this year’s Slam Dunk Festival. The line-up includes Architects, Cancer Bats, and Forever The Sickest Kids, and, aside from the King Blues, who are just fantastic, and I cannot wait to see again, it’s all sounding like a bit of a headache! Maybe I’m just being negative, and I’ll wait and see, with some updates on the new announcements, but I’m hoping for more ska, as last year’s festival was probably the most fun I’ve ever had at a show, with bands like The Skints, who I’m sure will be making a return this year, Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake.

Slam Dunk to me, means punk, reggae, and ska, but it all seems to be getting a little bit screamo for my liking. We’ll have to wait and see!

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Frank Turner Featured In Film

This year, Relentless Energy continued their Short Film competition, with the first entry featuring Frank Turner.
The short film was made by up-and-coming filmmaker from Hertfordshire, James Henry. He chose Frank as the candidate to fill the competition’s themes of ‘No Half Measures,’ and ‘Focus,’ two adjectives which I cannot think of anybody better to grace with. James stated that: “I want to explore who he is at his core: it’s Frank’s story so who better to tell it than him himself?”
The film, titled ‘The Road,’ unsurprisingly documents life on tour for Frank – his highs and lows, and his inspiration to carry on making music.

Whilst only brief, is a great insight into Frank’s personal side, with behind-the-scenes interviews and as well as containing some great live footage and is truly inspirational, as it goes to show that hard work and passion can take you to places you could never have imagined!

James, since graduating from Hertfordshire University, the site for this years Slam Dunk South Festival, has been making a name for himself making films about various underground artists and fashion companies, as well as producing pieces for numerous magazines.

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The King Blues… Thank you!

My weekend was made when I found out that the King Blues have been so kind as to fit us Slam Dunk-goers into their schedule. Well… Slam Dunk South-Goers that is, because they have been announced as special guests at Hatfield this year, whilst the Northerners are still left waiting in anticipation as to the special treat in store for them. The rumours are all saying it will be Zebrahead.. but nobody knows!

Anyway, The King Blues are a fantastic addition to the already great line-up. The band were supposed to be playing last year, but had to pull out, because of the birth of Itch’s first child, so I guess it’s their way of making it up to us!
It’s extra kind of them, as they have a show in Norfolk(!) later that day at 9pm, so it’s going to be a bit of a tight squeeze to get there in time.
All of the stage times haven’t been announced yet, however we do know that the King Blues will be on at 3.20 on the Kerrang Introducing stage, although I’m not sure why, as they are probably the biggest band on the bill!

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Slam Dunk Festival 2010 – Part 2

So after finally escaping the mess, we managed to get over to the Jagermeister Stage to see Against Me! They are definitely one of my new favourite bands – I know that there’s been the inevitable criticism in releasing an album that has catchy songs on it – but I still believe that their songs have a strong meaning, and they are far from selling out.

The set consisted of a lot of new tracks, including White Crosses and I Was A Teenage Anarchist, all performed with heaps of energy. What I love about Against Me! is the fact that they always look so happy to be playing. Tom Gabel spent the entire set smiling from ear to ear, and it just adds to the experience.

They also played some older tracks, including New Wave, Thrash Unreal and Up The Cuts – some of my favourites!! I don’t really have anything bad to say about them to be honest!

Finally, we saw Alkaline Trio. I hadn’t heard that much of their music beforehand, but it was the only choice we had, as the indoor stages were still locked, 2 hours later! As it turns out, they were great. They played through a series of newer hits, such as Dine, Dine, My Darling, This Addiction and Stupid Kid  aswell as some older tracks including ’97.’

Overall, I guess I can say that this was a great introduction to festivals.  Being my first, it was nice to get a taster of just what it is that lures thousands to festivals every summer. Apart from the obvious crowd control issues, I’d say that it was great value for money, with tickets only around £25 pp.

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Slam Dunk South 2010 – Great Bands, Not Such Great Organization

This year was the first year of Slam Dunk Festival South. The pop-punk festival, which has previously only taken place in Leeds, this year has expanded to the South – To the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield.

It worked in a similar way to that of the Reading and Leeds Festivals. The bands perform for one day, then travel overnight to reach the next venue and play the next day.

We arrived in Hatfield to be greeted with rain – a must have for any British festival. I had come mainly to see Against Me!, I will be posting a review of their new album, White Crosses soon. I was also interested to see Alkaline Trio, I discovered both of these bands due to the wonders of Spotify! However  I was keen to have a listen to Capdown and Sonic Boom Six aswell.

I arrived hoping to discover some new bands, and this I definitely did. For such a small festival, there were a huge number of bands performing. There were over 35 bands on from 3pm to 11pm, on around 7 different stages. There were two main stages, the first, the Jagermeister stage featured the headliners Alkaline Trio, whilst the other featured the second headliners, New Found Glory.

Our first stop was the Vans Acoustic Stage, to see The Skints, a London-based Ska/Reggae group. I was a bit disappointed with the sound setup, as the bass drowned out everything else, we couldn’t even hear the vocals. However, I was pretty impressed by band member Marcia Richards. She started off on the keyboard, then switched to flute, then to sax, then melodica, as well as singing backing vocals! I have since had a listen to them properly, and have fallen in love! Check out ‘Bright Girl’ from their debut album ‘Live. Breathe. Build. Believe.’

We then switched over to the acoustic stage, sponsored by Macbeth, to see Portia Conn. She had a really great voice, and clever lyrics – check out her new single on iTunes. Also on the acoustic stage was Sam Little playing very cheesy, feelgood acoustic pop. He too had a great voice, and continued to play unplugged after technical problems stopped his mic from working.

Next on the list was Me Vs Hero, at the Off the Wall Stage, where I experienced my very first Wall Of Death!! It wasn’t really my thing, with a combination of pop-punk and screamo, but I have to admit that they really got the crowd going, with Human Pyramids, Walls of Death and Mosh Pits!

Also at the Off the Wall were Sonic Boom Six – one of my new favourite bands! They worked their way through all the hits, including Piggy In the Middle, Sound of a Revolution, Strange Transformations and Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang. I love their mix of Punk, Rap, Reggae and Ska, and their trombone player was awesome!

This was where it all went wrong… There had been a heavy downpour of rain, and everyone who had been outside, was trying to shelter inside. At the same time, two bands from the indoor stages had just finished, so everybody was either trying to get in, or get out. I found myself squashed against a window for 2o minutes, while the security tried to get everyone out.

After about 30 minutes, after I had finally got outside, Security realised they couldn’t deal with it, and had no idea what to do, so they simply locked the door, leaving hundreds stranded outside in the rain, with only a few people remaining inside to see the bands. This left some people missing the bands that they had travelled miles to come and see, eventually including part of the New Found Glory set. You can see the mess this made below..

I still have too much left to write about Slam Dunk, so I will continue this in my next post.

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